If I Kiss You
Sam smiled and poured some more sugar in her coffee. Cam’s question was dangerously close to the truth. Teal’c tactfully turned away and looked over Cam’s shoulder, almost telling her he would never betray some deep secret.
And it was a secret, a deep, dark secret she could not afford to harbor, yet grew fond of more and more as she thought of it. She bit her tongue andtook a sip of the coffee. She looked back at Cam and shook her head slightly, hoping all sadness had fled her eyes. It would never flee her heart.
It was the thing she could not have that called to her in the dark of the night, and for that she hated it. Yet she could not bring herself to turn away and close the door firmly on her thoughts. ‘What ifs’ and ‘why not’s’ still filtered through.
Cam nodded and left, bringing his empty plate of pancakes and carton of juice to the washing window, leaving Teal’c to turn his dark eyes toward her.
“Do not give up hope, ColonelCarter,” he said, quietly and with passion in his deep voice.
Don’t give up. That had been the chant for years as she watched him from a distance, almost judging if he wanted her as much as she wanted him. But then he gave it seemingly away to someone Sam was sure never in a million years deserved it. His love and passion was too… pure for the new person in his life. Sam closed her eyes. It was her life too. She was her teammate,too.
Sam nodded at Cam and picked up her bowl of forgotten fruit, bringing it to the window and placing it on the conveyer belt. She had reality to deal with, not some silly school girl fantasy.
Cam handed Daniel a cup, passing another one to Vala as their hostess handed them out. Sam was too busy talking to one of the other members of the family to sit down right away. He glanced at Vala and Daniel who were talking to the younger kids of the family. He caught Teal’c staring at him as he brought his attention back to Sam. The big man had seen something and known something, but was not ever going to say anything.
Cam still couldn’t shake the conversation he had, or rather tried to have,with Sam before their mission.
“If you could spend the whole day with one person, who would it be?”
Sam looked up over her bowl, stirring her cereal. “Do I have to pick justone person?”
Cam shrugged, peeling another orange. “It’s your day. Who would be there?”
“My dad,” Sam said with a small hint of sadness. She paused, almost on theverge of saying something else.
“I imagine that would be an awesome day. I would pick my dad too,” Cam said. He watched Sam for a moment as she looked over to the doors and pick up some sugar packets. He did not miss the small looks that no longer passed between the two scientists. He was not completely clueless at all times.
“I think you would need to spend some time with your best friend more. Youmiss him, almost like he was the one dead, don’t you?”
Sam smiled and poured more sugar into her coffee.
Cam wondered what exactly happened to drive the two friends apart. A hand on his arm caused him to look back toward Vala and Daniel, Daniel with a scowlon his face and Vala laughing hard. Could it have been Vala, who had clungto Daniel like a life raft after she came back from the Ori Galaxy? The twowomen certainly were different but seemed to have come to a common enoughground to work together.
Was there something more to the relationship, Cam wondered? He had alwayssuspected they were closer than they had said, but once he had gotten theband back together, now almost two years ago, there was dwindling evidenceof a hot and undercover romance.
Cam scowled at Vala as she fell off her chair. He looked down at his cupand pushed the rest away. He needed to get Vala to the make shift quarterstheir hosts had so kindly provided.
Sam let her mind wander and enjoy the dream of her forbidden nightly journey through a life that would never exist. The closest thing to real that ever remotely resembled her dreams was when Fifth kidnapped her and tried to convince her of a twisted reality. Of course in her dream reality it was not Pete shewas living with, and certainly she wasn’t living on any farm.
Sam heard the loud crash and sat up quickly, zat and sidearm both aimed towardthe sound.
“What? Daniel?” Sam blinked, lowering her weapons and trying to adjust her eyes to the dark room. She saw his form slightly through the darkness. “What on Earth are you doing here?”
“We are not on Earth,” he said sheepishly. He took a step closer to the bedand hesitated. Finally he sat down on the mattress and stared back into thedarkness.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked, worry creeping into her mind and voice. The lasttime someone had done that, her mother had passed away.
“Vala told me…” he paused and took another deep breath. “She wants to knowif…. Why is it always so complicated?”
Sam sat up, tugging her gown around her knees and sat beside him. She wasstill confused to what he wanted to say.
Daniel took another deep breath and said, “ValaisjealousofwhoIaminlovewith.”
Sam blinked and focused on his face. He had said it so fast that she wassure she missed it. “Vala is jealous of what?”
“Of who I am in love with.” Daniel relaxed a bit and turned slightly toward her. “That is why she is always near me, always,” he put a hand next to his face, “here. She said that if she can’t have me, no one could. It’s really too much, Sam. It has to stop.”
“And you told her?”
“Yes and she tried to kiss me, as if that would prove something. Honestly,she needs to stop.”
“Tell Cam. He can tell Landry and we can get this sorted out. I’m sorry,” Sam said, placing a hand on his arm. She smiled a bit and wondered if she could blame Vala for trying. Of course she could! She had tried to take advantage of Daniel’s kindness.
“I am tired of running, Sam, just so tired. I want to just, I don’t know,leave.” He looked at Sam and she took in a sharp breath. She searched hiseyes and saw the depth of sadness suddenly pouring out. Hope and love wasthere, but some unspoken sadness, as if he regretted not doing something,had caused the biggest wound of all.
Teal’c watched his teammates walk back to the Gate, bringing up the rear ensuring nothing went wrong. He studied the four other SG-1 members; they had all been very quiet. He had observed that Daniel seemed to be very sullen and had avoided Vala as he walked around the village. Sam had pulled Cam tothe side and had seemed to eagerly talk to him. Cam had turned a glaring eyetoward Vala who was sitting on the bench by the window, playing with thechildren.
Teal’c found it all odd. He did not remember anything that would have causedthe teammates to become so distant.
Vala paused and slowed down to walk beside him, as they came to the clearing.
“You still like me, don’t you?” she asked, turning her eyes toward him.
“Indeed,” Teal’c said, lowering his head a bit. Once more it was all strange.
He looked around as Cam pushed the coordinates back to Earth into the DHD and saw Sam avoiding Daniel’s gaze. Had something transpired between the twoscientists as well? Teal’c looked back at Daniel who was fiddling with hisradio. He knew that they had both realized that there was more to lose, andno person or team of persons should come between them.
However, Teal’c knew, they both were stubborn and would come around whenthey were ready. He just hated to feel the pressure that their silence broughtto every encounter.
Daniel sat down next to Sam, smiling as she looked up from some folders shewas shuffling through.
“She is going back to spend some time with her husband,” Daniel said.
“Vala. She decided to go to her husband and maybe bring him back.”
“That’s good. I think she needs the distraction at the moment.”
Daniel settled back into his chair; maybe now he could concentrate on rebuilding his friendship with Sam. “Let’s go to the park. I mean, we have a few days of leave, so let’s just… leave.”
Sam looked up again and looked at him. She closed her file in front of herand thought about it for a moment. “That’s a brilliant idea.”
The two left the commissary and headed into town, arriving at the nearbypark. Getting out, they walked around the lake, at first silent and thenfinally slipping back into their comfortable friendship mode. Daniel laughedas Sam told another joke that Cam was trying to pull on one of the new recruits,and it felt good. Just being by Sam and out of the mountain, on Earth andaway from danger, felt good. He absentmindedly put his arm around her waistas they took another lap around the lake, resting comfortably in their rekindledconnection.
Sam pointed to a bench and pulled Daniel over. “I wish we could bring ourwork outside. I mean, the weather is perfect!”
Daniel nodded. “I’d love an office with windows even.”
“Oh, that would be nice.”
They sat there for a bit longer, soaking in the silence and outdoors. Sam leaned her head on his shoulder and breathed in the earthy smell and the rainon the horizon. The lazy lapping of the water lulled them almost into a trance.Sam turned her head and studied Daniel’s profile for a moment. It seemedto draw her in and remind her of the strength he had learned to find andclaim as his own. Still tender and loving, there were small lines creepingup reminding Sam of the many years they had spent side by side and how longthey had been friends.
And how long she had wanted to …
Lean over and kiss him. It was just something that made her lean up andkiss Daniel on the cheek. He turned in surprise and Sam looked back, almostas if she wanted to apologize for what she had done; what she shouldn’t have done. She opened her mouth to say so when Daniel placed a finger on her lips. She closed her eyes and nodded.
Three days later, Daniel came by her office, binders in his hands. “Sam.”
“Yeah?” she asked, and then turning saw him with his arms full. “Oh, here.” She cleared a small space off her desk and grabbed the stack of binders. “Theseare all the mechanical specs?”
Daniel nodded and went over to her coffee maker. “I asked for the condensedversion, but apparently there was no condensed version. I looked over thetranslation and it seems pretty accurate. I figure stars and black holeswere more your specialty.”
Sam flashed a smile at him as she began flipping through the top binder. “Anything to find out how these people can predict a black hole collapse beforeone even forms.”
Daniel stood by the desk for a moment and studied her. She ran a hand throughher short blonde hair, and flipped the pages over again. He touched his cheekwhere she had kissed him and felt the burning blush creep back up. He lookedback down to his cup. Perhaps there was more to Vala’s statement than hecared to acknowledge to himself.
Perhaps she had been standing in front of him the whole time.
Sam buried herself in research. She did not want to think about the wayshe acted like a schoolgirl with a crush around Daniel. She had stuffed heremotions and musings down for a long time; why did one kiss suddenly threatento unravel it all?
She slept as little as she could and daydreams were stopped as soon as theybecame wishful. She saw herself sitting by Daniel’s side on the bench, engagedin passionate kisses, sure that time would always stand still for them asthey made love, and wake up next to each other. To push past them she worked.
In two days she had learned as much as she could about how to predict blackholes before one ever existed and was walking up to Landry’s office to giveher report. She stepped off the elevator and Cam sidestepped her.
“You trying to do a physics experiment?”
She looked up, noticing him for the first time. “Huh?”
“You were about to make my space yours. You look tired. You sleeping?”
Sam turned and saw Teal’c was standing by him also. “Oh yeah, I’m fine, justa lot of work. Keeping busy, busy.”
“DanielJackson is as well,” Teal’c said, looking at Sam. She shrugged and said that was nothing new. She threw a smile at the two men and continued toward General Landry’s office.
She smiled slightly; so she wasn’t the only one distracted. He came by duringlunch and sat down, chatted, acting as if they were just friends, and thekiss, even so just on the cheek, did not unlock something more. She frowned;perhaps for him it was nothing more than just the shock of her kissing him.
Cam sat back and played with his pen. Vala was beaming and her husband looked scared. Sam was handing notes to Daniel who was using a flip chart to show why Tomin should trust the SGC and Earthlings in general. Teal’c knitted hisbrows and watched the whole scene.
Sam and Daniel had seemed to settle into a comfortable balance, but evenfrom the outside he could see there was a tension. They were friends, finallyfinding the comfortable balance they seemed to have when Vala had left themand wound up in the Ori system, but things between them still seemed strainedunder it all. Daniel would cut his eyes away when Sam looked at him, as iflooking at each other would cause a reaction that neither wanted to happen.Cam wondered how he could just make them leap over the table and get it outof their system.
Cam nodded as Daniel asked a question; what it was, he wasn’t sure. Buthe knew he agreed with it. He went back to looking at the two scientists.For a moment their eyes met and it seemed as if an understanding, a hiddenconnection, was made. He looked over at Vala and Tomin. Vala darted her eyesquickly back toward Tomin from looking at Daniel.
What was she up to?
Sam paused outside Daniel’s office. He was leaning back, rubbing his hand over his eyes and scowling. She peeked in and saw Vala sitting on his desk in the corner, twirling her hair.
“I think maybe it’s time we just discussed it, love,” Vala said.
“I think maybe you are suffering from something,” Daniel retorted. “You broughtyour husband – your husband, Vala – to Earth so he could be safe fromthe army of Ori that are after him.”
“Just because of that I lose the right to have a little fun?” she asked, hopping off the table and crossing toward him. She leaned down, hands on hischair and smiled. “But admit you do like it. It’s not like anyone else wouldplay cat and mouse. You are a tease, Daniel Jackson, and half the women inthis base, hell in the whole universe, can attest to that. You want us towant you, but are not willing to follow through.”
“This was never a cat and mouse game, Vala. This was you trying to redeemyourself; you trying to prove to yourself that Adria was not pushing yourbuttons and really appealing to whatever is left of your old life. You arethe tease, Vala. And half the men on the base, hell, the whole universe canattest to that,” Daniel spat back.
Sam stood silent. She hadn’t seen Daniel exercise restraint on his angerin a long time. He was inches from Vala’s face. She backed up a fractionand blinked. Next thing Sam registered was Vala slapping Daniel and Danielnoticing she was there.
Vala stomped out of the office, pausing briefly by Sam. “You two deserveeach other. Why don’t you just admit that you want him and get it over with?”
Sam watched the retreating form of Vala as she made her way toward the elevators.Slowly she turned her head toward Daniel who was still looking at her. Acurious look passed over his face as he started rubbing his cheek.
“Well,” he started, getting out of his chair and walking slowly toward her.“The kiss was preferable to the slap.”
Sam met Daniel’s gaze and gave a small smile. “I suppose I can always kissit and make it better.”
Daniel nodded slightly. “That would be preferred over all.”
Teal’c slowed down slightly as he and Cam neared Daniel’s lab. They were in search of Daniel and Sam to invite them to lunch. He thought he heard somethingas they came down the hall.
“What is it, buddy?” Cam asked as Teal’c stopped right before approachingthe doorway.
Inside stood Sam leaning over the desk and Daniel’s head near the computer. It looked as if they were studying some paper on the desk, but then Daniel’s hand made its way into Sam’s hair and Teal’c was sure he wasn’t mistaken. He was witnessing his two teammates professing their hidden desires. Teal’c looked down at Cam who was beaming.
“How about a table for two only?”
Teal’c nodded. He was sure the two friends would approach them to tell oftheir great news soon.
Daniel pulled back and smiled at Sam. She still had her eyes closed and wassmiling. Slowly she opened her eyes.
“I think that healed more than just my cheek,” Daniel said softly.
He stroked her cheek and took in her deep blue eyes. “How long have we beenavoiding this?”
“I can’t talk for you, but for me,” Sam said, pausing, “It’s been too long. It’s gotten harder to ignore how much I enjoy your company and just being with you.” Daniel raised an eyebrow and Sam blushed. “Shut up,” she said lightly.
“I thought perhaps I had missed my chance long time ago,” he said, smoothingher hair behind her ear. “I thought with Jack and Pete coming into the pictureit left no room for me.”
“There was never anywhere Jack could have gone without sacrifice, and weboth know how he feels about that. Pete,” Sam paused. “Pete was a very poorsubstitute for the man I wanted. And there always was room. I think we bothfigured we had to suppress it and deny there was anything.”
“I can’t think of a sillier thing in the world to do,” Daniel said, walkingaround the desk. He stood in front of her and looked deeply into her eyes.Leaning forward, he captured her lips once more, letting her embracing armsand their finally said love heal every wound he had.
He lifted Sam up after he broke the kiss, making her gasp. He twirled heraround and gave a deep laugh, Sam joining in. To hell with what Vala said;to hell with her plans and jealous ways; Daniel and Sam were happy and nothingwas ever to destroy that happiness.